Pastor’s resignation

Jun 6, 2016 by

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I am deeply grieved that the leaders of Virginia Mennonite Conference and the Executive Board of Mennonite Church USA have rejected the gifts and ministry of Isaac Villegas. It seems they have (again) chosen the old, comfortable rules of the church instead of the way the Spirit is leading a growing number of MC USA members who welcome and affirm all of God’s children as equals.

To encourage Villegas to resign from the executive board and to accuse him of misconduct is unbelievable and unfair. My spiritual life has been nurtured by his writing in The Mennonite and elsewhere, and I have been blessed by his sermons at conferences and at the MC USA conventions. Now they are saying he no longer has these spiritual gifts.

In Villegas’ congregation (like all the congregations that have blessed same-sex marriages), this decision was only made after years of prayer, Bible study, listening to God and each other and Christ-centered discernment. Our leaders seem to be saying the Holy Spirit is not working among any group that does not totally agree with them. God’s Spirit is active in these congregations. They are overflowing with the fruits of the Spirit.

I know this is a difficult time for our leaders, and I continue to pray for all of us.

Joyce Hostetler
Goshen, Ind.

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